The Book of Color by Julia Blackburn

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Synopsis

In the late 19th century, an English missionary arrives on a remote island in the Indian Ocean, intent on wiping our fornication among the natives. Instead he incurs a curse that strikes first his dark-skinned wife, then his son and grandson. But is the curse supernatural--or a white man's guilty fascination with an alien new world? "A hypnotic, cryptic, haunting exploration of the power of memory."--Boston Globe.
 

About Julia Blackburn

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Julia Blackburn has written five books of non-fiction - Charles Waterton, The Emperor's Last Island, Daisy Bates in the Desert, Old Man Goya and With Billie - a family memoir, The Three of Us, which won the 2009 J. R. Ackerley Award, and two novels, The Book of Colour and The Leper's Companions, both of which were shortlisted for the Orange Prize. She is the author of seventeen short stories specially commisioned by BBC Radio, a selection of which were published in My Animals and Other Family, and four radio plays, including The Spellbound Horses, which is due to be broadcast in 2011.
 
Published October 10, 2012 by Vintage. 192 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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From one recurring detail to another (the pigor one like it, in earlier timeis the lonely grandfather's boyhood pet), Blackburn evokes the world of 19th-century Mauritius, of 20th-century England, and the terrible sorrows of repression, loneliness, slavery, madness, and lossall with a deftness, c...

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Publishers Weekly

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After she slowly sinks into madness, her son is sent to England, where he will pass as a ``white man with dark skin.'' A generation later, the narrator's grandfather falls prey to the same fixation with skin color;

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Publishers Weekly

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Biographer Blackburn makes her fictional debut with a multigenerational tale concerning race, madness and identity.

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